Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Gorgon Horror at the Crumbles

By T.L. Coston

It’s getting dark. Is that a distant rumble?
I’m getting goose-bumps from the prospect of thunder.
Did the temperature drop? It suddenly got cold.
For what time I have left, it’s hard to be bold

The crime I committed, and yes, it was heinous
And for that, I’m about to be hanged.
But to prosecute my execution, in these conditions,
Is more than I can take.

Oh, I don’t deserve pity, that can’t be denied.
But to dance at the gallows to a thunder’s clap,
While lightning flashes my last gasp;
Now that’s irony at its best.

Yes, she was my mistress and with child.
But to leave my wife, I couldn’t abide.
So, instead of leading a double life,
I decided to commit the most odious of crimes.

I enticed my moll with promises of love;
An elopement to some foreign land.
But to stage this getaway, we needed a place to stay.
Somewhere, no one would pry

The plan was simple enough:
I needed a cottage with a tidal rush.
To commit this deed might entail screams;
Shingle Beach would do just fine

So blind was her love that she didn’t see the club.
The blunt end of an axe I did swing.
With a thud she splayed on the rug.
So vicious, her hands twitched in a pool of blood

Realization had come to pass, I have a difficult task:
The dismemberment and disposal of my spinster lass.
As you could tell by the mess, I underestimated the rest.
A plan, as everyone knows, I half-assed.

I built a big fire and stoked the flames,
To begin the ghoulish work ahead of me.
I sawed off her head and threw it on a bed
Of glowing cinders that popped and hissed.

It was then, I witnessed the din, of a Gorgon horror.
Writhing hair waved in serpentine flames biting venomous strikes.
I recoiled from this attack, and while stepping back,
Her dead eyes opened with a Medusa stare.

And with that, a thunderous clap,
Coupled with lightning that shook the whole cabin.
I ran with a scream into the pouring night;
Not to return until daylight.

That’s it. So, now I go to the gallows pole
For the whole world knows my sins,
And soon I will pay a repentance price
Dancing in Hell to thunder and lightning.

This poem is based on the 1924 murder of Emily Bilbie Kaye at the Crumbles in the U.K.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Apples and Snow

By T.L. Coston

I wandered through the countryside
To escape the pain of emotional tides
To be free from disappointments over the years
Looking for a sanctum to ease my mind

An abandoned farmhouse providentially found
A brook with clean water rushes abound
Fields scarred with stubbled rows
Poke through a blanket of freshly laid snow

No more fruit does the old, apple tree bear
A hopeful harvest to last this winter’s dread
No more tears can I shed
Every indication points that I should be here

I’m barely existing in this icy cave
Where a single furnace heats my way
By miracle, one vent keeps me warm
I believe God knows where I am

I can’t escape thoughts of food
Daydreaming about everything, even apples stewed
Lamb chops, turkey, a regular holiday feast
This I would enjoy with my husband, Steve

It didn’t take long for the countdown to end
I ate my last apple, now starvation begins
Weak from lack of food, I can’t make it to the brook
How am I going to get out of here?

In the mirror, I saw a ghastly sight
My drawn and haggard face gave me a fright
Clumps of hair fall from my head
If I stay here, I will die

The snow is all the sustenance I have
My head and stomach aches
I’m dizzy and lightheaded; starving is a painful thing
But don’t worry, God sees everything

The nights are longer and extremely cold
I lay down to pray for my soul:
Dear God, please save me.
I’m trying, but I don’t know what to do.

As my mind drifts away in hope of better days
I envisioned a miracle of God’s grace
That the old apple tree bloomed
Resplendent with fruit, here, in January


This poem is based on the journal and documentary of the tragic death of Linda Bishop

Friday, December 27, 2019

Noel in the Holler

By T.L. Coston

As the sun kisses the dusk to bid a nights pleasant dream
And Winter’s crystalline blanket blinks its pinkish-blue hues
A few leaves cling to a branch in reverent stubbornness
While a gust of wind whistles through its wooden chimes

I sit on my porch on this blessed night
Wondering about the magis wonderful sight
Of a star portending God’s gift to mankind
A distant flame of hope for the lonely and forgotten

Across the holler on a distant hill
A cabin light flickers without concomitant cry of a whippoorwill
Silent are these nights when the cold air bites
Even more so on this holiday tide

Faint was the sound of a distant song
Of a neighbor’s melodious wail
About the heralded birth of Jesus Christ
And redemption for sins for which we must prevail

As I stopped rocking in my chair
I closed my eyes and listened with care
As I wiped a couple of tears away
And thanked our Lord for this Christmas Day

Saturday, December 21, 2019

An Impeachment Eve Soliloquy

By T.L. Coston

Now is the time for calumnies most foul,

When inflamed passions of disaffected malcontents

Shall besmirch character and country for votes unfavored.

‘Tis responsible to protect party and power from hayseeds

Who seek liberty guaranteed in an aged document, outdated and unwanted.

A Constitution - a mere rag - unworthy of the least menstruation.

But what casualty is truth when one must suffer imbeciles for the greater good?

Words as false as the teeth that rattle in my mouth shall not be impaired.

Words shall topple a president as a sword smites a king on battlefield, or blade on scaffold.

A bloodless coup committed not in shadows, but openly and most false.

I toast my Democratic confederates. A cloudy chardonnay can be rancid or most tasteful.

May our fermented hate harvest a fruitful vintage!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Isolation and Madness

By T.L. Coston

Did you expect a slobbering fool,
Ranting and raving with spit and drool?
A wild-eyed man whose thoughts are scattered at best
Dressed in his own filth and basking in stench

Maybe I am that man, whom all consider insane
This room suggest my faculties are suspect at best
To be isolated from the general population for fear of murderous intent
No, it is to protect me from the unseen that makes me sick

Oh yes, this is the cause for all my troubles and woes
All these devices that penetrate my brain
Electromagnetic waves that induce headaches
I had to get away - to escape - from this modern-day inferno

Oh, the mountains were so picturesque, and the quiet gave me rest
A haven from a technological assault, few could understand or know
I began to feel like back in the day before this cursed age
Where ubiquitous phones turned people into slaves

This was heaven for sometime, but humans are social
As we all know. To converse, laugh and sing
Interaction with another is a necessary thing
Without it we would go...dare I say - insane

But I was fine for awhile
Conversing in my head wasn’t something to dread
But to hear a voice without a muffled sound
Found me talking aloud, and what conversations I had with myself!

It wasn’t until things went awry
A shadow in the corner came alive
At first a blob without definition or shape
But, through time, morphed into something I could not mistake

This being - this devil - an affront to nature
Assumed my aspect, tone and gestures
Until, I could not distinguish spirit from flesh
For this horror mirrored my image much to my distress

He sat there for sometime, studying my every move
As I did him, each staring at the other not knowing what to do
This went on for days and nights
He and I eyeing each other, measuring - waiting

It was he who broke the silence
I was startled by the sound of his voice
Years of being alone can cripple a mind
Hearing from another made me want to cry

It didn’t take long to know his intent
My doppleganger wanted more than a cabin
He had grand designs on the human race
While I stay imprisoned in this sanctuary

All his evil would be in my name
Death and destruction would be mine to blame
And he laughed and laughed at the prospect
Of a hapless fool stranded on mountain in a cabin getaway

I could not allow this evil to abide
My doppleganger had to die
But how do you kill a shadow turned to flesh and bone?
Easy, with a knife and strokes that are hard and bold

My doppleganger laughed and cried
As I plunged over and over to watch him die
Blood splattered on my face and eyes
Half blinded I slipped and slide in his spectral gore

It didn’t take long for a knock on my door
For a loner is cause for much concern
My neighbors kept a watchful eye
It didn’t help when a fight wakens the whole mountainside

I was arrested for murder in the first degree
Fratricide the papers decreed
They say I did my brother in
That the demon was actually my twin
I was judged criminally insane
Because all my protestations went up in flames
For the demon tested with my DNA
So now I sit here in my stench; drooling and spittling my innocence

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Park Bench Ghost

By T.L. Coston

There is a neighborhood park a couple of blocks away
Where denizens stroll and children play
As squirrels scamper, stamp and chatter
Protesting that this is their domain

‘Tis a bowl of pleasure and sometimes pain
Where laughter wafts a quarter mile away
Punctuated by a high pitched cry of a siren whine
To stutter and stop from a mother’s touch

Down the steps and to the right
There is a park bench situated under a light
And when the weather permits
You’ll see an old man sitting there until sunset

No one sees this gentleman
They pass him by without a care
They’ll sit next to him without a glance
To say hello or inquire is too much to ask

He is a ghost to the denizens of the park
A wayward spirit whose time is sparse
He is just a shadow on a bench
A being whose sunset has come to an end

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Wailing Witch of Weldon Pond

By T.L. Coston

There are no secrets in a village or town
When wagging tongues whisper
As darkness crowds in and sunlight fades out
For Fear has seeded a woeful child
Before it, Courage whimpers away - barren and fallow

Heed my warnings, stranger
The path you have taken, locals have forsaken
From harvest til solstice
This is a dangerous place
Beware of the Wailing Witch for this is her domain

No one knows from whence she came
Nor, can account when the woes began
For this tale is as old as the land
And the pond she’s claimed
Bears the family Weldon; a most unfortunate name

The Weldons made this place their home
Began a family, so the legend goes
Daughters, blessed be, were born - three
Oh, how those girls frollicked and danced
Not a care in the world when you’re not aged ten

Natives warned the Weldons of this forsaken place
For the witch has wailed for many of their race
Young and old who’ve made the mistake
Of venturing through the woods down the way
To her haunt - the pond - after harvest til solstice break

The Weldons dismissed this outlandish tale
For who can believe a barbarous breed
Whose motives are questionable to say the least
God-fearing Christians are not impressed
By heathens and their fables to which there is no end

But then came the night, regret clasped a mournful heart
So cold was the still, flames barely crackled in the hearth
When breath mingles with heat from an uncovered head
Death whispered forebodings that sleeping parents dread
Then came the wail that even the cold couldn’t bear

That’s when the parents shot up out of bed
The wailing was so loud, it could’ve wakened the dead
They dashed to their daughters, but only to see
Beds barren and cold from lack of body heat
“Where are the children?!” the mother looked around and screamed

When the witch wailed thrice, parents gasped in fright
Both ran out the door, unheeded without coat
They followed small footprints embedded in the snow
Through drifts and over ice, both battled wind and night
To the pond, where wails echo, into unearthly flight

As they crested a hill, about thirty yards away
A dark figure, silhouetted in starlight, danced and swayed
It was then they saw her face - a horrible disfigured face
This harpy snarled a toothless grin
Then wailed again and again, clawing at her tattered dress

The Weldon’s recoiled from this frightful scene
When the witch’s wailing morphed into a sickening glee
For this hag visaged a childish coquette
Mocking all that is holy and innocent
Mocking filial love and all it represents

The witch then pointed to the pond
She giggled, then clasped her putrid mouth
But evil cannot be suppressed; she stamped her feet
Then with an awful laugh, she splayed to mock the Trinity
This blasphemy, perfumed in rot and disease, engulfed the whole valley

Just as the witch mocked our lord
The three emerged from an icy vault
The Weldons screamed then jumped into the cold-cold pond
With shivering bodies and chattering teeth
They retrieved their dead daughters and began to grieve

The witch looked on in bemused satisfaction
For evil cannot commiserate, or compassion show
Only to take pleasure in others misfortune and woes
When the witch had feasted and filled
She walked away basking in parental wails

The Weldon’s woes did not abate
For the mother caught pneumonia and died a month later
The father vowed vengeance until his death
He hunted year after year until solstice end
Until, he too, was floating in his namesake's grave

Stranger, I beg you not to go down that path
Oh, I know it’s hard to believe
You’ll repent soon enough, you’ll see
When the Wailing Witch makes her call
And you end up face down in Weldon Pond